Halloween Class Parties in China

Carrying on with the Halloween circa '14 trend with our Halloween class parties at school. The Halloween parties at school were a little less exciting than the ones at our house but still fun for the kids none the less. For the school parties, we told all of the kids to come to class in costume & to bring candy to share with their tables. This has translated in the past to most of the classes as bring bags upon bags of food, candy & drinks. Last year I had to set guide lines for them. They were only allowed to bring candy, chocolate, cookies & water. It also had to fit in one grocery bag! And absolutely NO CHIPS allowed. Have you tried cleaning up after 30 kids with even 1 bag of chips among them? It's a disaster. So, no chips it was! DSC00296

^ Gotta love those typos. ^
All the kids showed up in costume & with candy to share as instructed. The school also bought glow stick suckers for us to pass out to them. They exchanged candy & ran around in their costumes for the party. We also made human mummies & settled down to eat our candy while watching Hotel Transylvania.

I loved seeing all their make shift costumes. Tee hee. So cute. I'll have a whole other post just on their costumes. DSC00297
How hilarious is this little pumpkin lantern? It lights up, which is why it has a HUGE battery pack stuck to the bottom of it. haha. DSC00318DSC00320
The oh so exciting light up suckers. I'm not gonna lie, I freaked out when I saw this. It's awesome.DSC00324DSC00325DSC00328DSC00418DSC00410
How sweet is that? Though I don't know what it says about me as a teacher who gave the word Halloween as one of their spelling words the week before. haha. DSC00420DSC00421
Isn't this amazing?! It's a jack-o-lantern carved into a butternut squash. Love it. I don't even think he knew the difference. DSC00423DSC00430
 Peter, formally Pizza, was so proud of his jack-o-lantern.
The kids got creative with their candy bags.DSC00488DSC00507
Please notice the bread stuffed into this pumpkin make shift candy bag. NOT on the list of acceptable treats for bringing to this party. ;)DSC00473DSC00478
Some days teaching these 11 classes was ridiculously hard & exhausting but then days like this made it all worth it. That's how it always is, isn't it?
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Market Day & Pumpkin Carving in China

My favorite time as a teacher overseas was the time around the holidays. Regardless of what your opinions are on Halloween, I think it's safe to say that any time there is candy, dressing up & carving pumpkins involved, it's fun & kids like it! It was even more fun for me to live Halloween through the eyes of my kids. For most of them, the parties we held in their classes were the first Halloween parties they'd ever attended. The pumpkins we carved were the first they'd ever carved. There's something special about being apart of that. Part of our tradition with our after school kids was to hold a Market Day & Halloween party around Halloween time. We taught in our home several days a week after school. These kids became like our own. DSC00402DSC00400
We gathered pumpkins for these parties for weeks. Among all of our classes & all of our kids, we needed about 20 for everyone to have one. We even drove way out into the villages, looking for pumpkins, to which we found none. Finally, we found a market just down the street from us, that sold the little pumpkin pie pumpkins, so we made a deal with a guy to carry to our house a crate of 20. I won't say how much money we spent on them but let's just say that we've realized that the $3 pumpkin bins of huge pumpkins sitting outside our grocery store here in Texas is a God send. It's funny how your normal changes, right? Our normal was lugging pumpkin pie pumpkins home for a gajillion yuan. We're still in awe over all the conveniences of America.
 Part of our Halloween Party day was to have a Market. As a reward system our students earned paper dollars over the semester & were able to spend it at market day. We stocked the table with tons of goodies, like; candy, toys, note pads, pencil sharpeners, stickers, etc. Kids go crazy for fun school supplies, don't they? In China, they have the best school supplies. Everything is shaped like food or animals. DSC00259
In addition to Market Day & pumpkin carving, the kids were supposed to dress up in a costume. They did pretty good with what's available in China. We also had some delicious pumpkin bread & fresh whipping cream together, both of which they'd never had. It was a pretty fun party, I think. Since we had several classes, we have several pictures & groups of students. I'm bummed we don't have pictures of all our classes but I'm still cherishing these. I miss our kiddos so much. But I have another little one in my life now, Sophie! And we've carved our pumpkin, too. :) DSC00261DSC00263DSC00265DSC00271
Teaching them all about carving pumpkins.DSC00273DSC00274
Voila! Pumpkins carved! DSC00283DSC00431DSC00433DSC00422

I thought they all turned out pretty good. The pumpkin carving kits here in the States are blowing my mind this year. Those little serrated knives are amazing. If we could go back, I'd have my mom send me a ton. As you know, when carving pumpkins with kids, the adults do most of the real carving. My hands were pretty raw in some places using a regular knife for 10+ pumpkins. I can hardly believe how easy it is when you have that little kit!
Do you have any fun Halloween traditions? post signature


Chocolate Coma

This past weekend was my brother & new sister's wedding. We hosted the reception in my mom & step dad's backyard. It was amazing but no one had as much fun as Sophie! The girl knows how to party! She was the flower girl & was promised a big chocolate bar if she did a good job. I think this promise alone set the precedence that wedding's are places you get down & let loose! hehe. 

Before the ceremony, Sophie's party already started. She was running around the gardens with her little white dress flowing & her blonde hair flying, like a painting, you guys. She looked straight out of secret garden. We had to fix her flower crown several times & a few times I saw her walk by me with her hair amiss, super amiss & super sweaty. She was having everyone play monster & chase her & running as much as possible. She was having the time of her life.


"Chase me monster! Chase me!"

During the ceremony time, you'd never know her hair was so cray-cray just a few hours before. She was the picture of grace. Gently plucking each petal from her basket & dropping it down. She made her way to the front, sat in my mom's lap & was perfect. Quiet as a mouse. She did such a great job!

After full filling her flower girl duties & making her way to the reception, at her own house, where she feels most comfortable, the party started up again.
We now know that this girl LOVES weddings! And dance floors. Upon, entering the backyard, she made her way straight to the dance floor. How she even know that was the area for dancing is beyond me because no one was dancing yet! She didn't let that stop her! She was dancing up a storm. She even had a dance on the ground rolling around to the music. Girl can work it.


At one point, I walked over to her & said "Sophie, do you want to dance?" with my arms outstreched to her to which she replied with some sass to her voice, "I'm already dancing!" Total rejection.
Another time my 8 year old cousin came in to tell on Sophie because dancing queen wouldn't "let anyone else on the dance floor!" My grandma made sure to have a talk with her about how the dance floor was for sharing.

She's wondering when they'll move off the dance floor so she can start dancing again. ;)

Through out the night Sophie was spotted with chocolate & brownies constantly in her hand. The s'mores table was filled with unwrapped chocolate bars & the counter with brownie bites with strawberries, her favorite. Both the table & counter holding these tempting sweets were directly at her arm's reach, too. A little chocolate loving girl's heaven.

Caught red handed.

Sophie danced the night away while shoving her face with chocolate. She was laughing, running, playing, blowing bubbles on the edge of the dance floor at the Bride & Groom during their first dance. She was the life of the party!
Come 11 pm, all that sugar & adrenaline came crashing down, though. Leaving Sophie passed out on the couch. :) To which we had a Zach Attack moment by sticking some chocolate in her mouth. Precious baby, started eating the chocolate in her sleep. Hehe. So sweet. LEGAL DISCLAIMER: She only ate a TINY bit of the chocolate we stuck in her mouth while sleeping. Tiny. Like just sucked off the very end of the chocolate. We in NO WAY were to blame for the following day. 

Anyways, we got some silly pictures with Sophie, to which she cracked up at the next day.
The next day, as you can imagine would happen when a little girl runs & dances all night with a belly of chocolate & sweets that she kept sneaking, she threw up chocolate & brownies the next morning. Classic sweets hangover. ;) Don't worry though, she's fine now & asked for more chocolate later that morning. (To which she got a resounding NO!)

Overall, I think Sophie had a heck of a time. I won't be surprised if over the next few months when we ask her what she wants to do she says she wants to go to a wedding. post signature
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